While the weather heats up around the U.S., I wanted you to know that A-Pro is here to serve your clients as we all begin to move forward and look ahead to rising sales.
In our last issue of From the Rafters, we focused on the steps our home inspection teams have taken to keep you, your buyers, and sellers safe from virus exposure during this time. Today, we’re turning our attention to other details about A-Pro you can impart when a client asks, “Can you recommend a good home inspection provider? What makes them stand out from the others?”
We’ve included answers to a few common customer questions. Please feel free to reference them when addressing your buyers and sellers about the importance of hiring a qualified home inspector. As always, just let us know how A-Pro can help.
Together, let’s make it a great summer season!
President, A-Pro Home Inspection
How complete is an A-Pro Home inspection?
Here’s the short answer—our certified home inspectors provide the most comprehensive assessment in the industry. Bar none.
A-Pro inspectors perform 500-point, foundation-to-roof visual/operational home inspections that include a thorough examination of a structure’s components and major systems. If you’ve ever been asked, “Is this worth the money?” or “Why can’t I just do the inspection myself?”—the extensive list of covered items below should provide some clarity. Home inspections should be left to certified professionals. What’s more, tell your clients that it’s a small investment to make for the peace of mind that comes from knowing an unbiased third party has evaluated the condition of the home before you sign off on a life-changing purchase.
Your certified A-Pro inspector checks:
- Structural Components—Walls, ceilings, roof, foundation, floors, attic, crawlspace
- Exterior—Wallcoverings, flashing, trim, doors, decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, railings, eaves, soffits, fascias, retaining walls, lot grading, surface drainage, vegetation, walkways, driveways, and patios
- Roofing—Cover materials, flashing, gutters, downspouts, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations
- Plumbing—Interior water supplies and distribution systems; faucets and fixtures; interior drain, waste, and vent systems; water heating equipment; hot water supply systems; flues and chimneys; fuel storage and fuel distribution systems; sump pumps
- Electrical—Service drop, service entrance conductors, cables, raceways, service equipment, main disconnects, service grounding, interior components of service panels and subpanels, conductors, overcurrent protection devices, installed lighting fixtures, switches, receptacles, ground fault circuit interrupters, and arc fault circuit interrupters
- Heating—Interiors of vent systems, flues, and chimneys that are not readily accessible; heat exchangers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers; electric air cleaning and sanitizing devices; heating systems using ground-source, water-source, solar, and renewable energy technologies; and heat-recovery and similar whole-house mechanical ventilation systems
- Air Conditioning—Central and permanently installed cooling equipment and distribution systems
- Interiors—Walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, and railings; countertops and installed cabinets; doors and windows; garage vehicle doors and garage vehicle door operators; and installed appliances
- Insulation and Ventilation—Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces; ventilation of attics and foundation areas; and kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and clothes dryer exhaust systems
- Fireplaces and Fuel-Burning Appliances—Interiors of vent systems, flues, and chimneys that are not readily accessible; fire screens and doors; seals and gaskets; and automatic fuel feed devices
Through observation of readily accessible areas, A-Pro home inspectors report on systems that are not functioning correctly, or are deficient, hazardous, or nearing the end of their useful life. Additionally, the report provides recommendations to correct immediate issues and monitor potential problems.
The Whole Picture—Fair and Balanced
A-Pro Home Inspection understands that homes are complex structures that require a watchful eye and a fair and balanced report, detailing its positive aspects as well as trouble spots. Homebuyers receive an honest, well-rounded evaluation in a promptly delivered, clearly written, and attractive hard-bound report with color photos. With an A-Pro Home Inspection report in hand, your clients can:
Make an informed decision on purchasing the home
Present evidence to aid in the negotiation of a fair purchase price
Have a baseline document that details the condition of the home for future reference
Sell a home quicker by having the property listed as “Certified Pre-Owned.”
What if the home inspector misses a problem? As someone who will be moving into a new home, will I have to pay for repairs?
Not if you have the inspection done by A-Pro. Here’s why:
Performing a reliable home inspection depends on consummate skill, a deep understanding of housing systems, knowledge of weather conditions and other common problems affecting homes in a particular region, and the experience to spot issues that would routinely slip by a less seasoned inspector. When your clients hire A-Pro, that’s what they can expect. Even then, home inspectors are human. After many thousands of home inspections performed by A-Pro since the company was founded in 1994, mistakes can pop up. While errors are a rare occurrence, A-Pro adds an extra layer of just in case protection with our ironclad “120-Day If We Pass It, We Protect It” *guarantee.
At no extra cost, this guarantees that covered systems and components on claims will not be turned down as a result of any covered preexisting conditions not documented in the inspection report. Your client retains control of who will perform the repairs, and A-Pro foots the bill for claims made in the first four months. Additionally, sellers who have a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection performed by A-Pro can pass the 120-day guarantee on to the buyer, protecting both parties.
Why does A-Pro include a free foundation level survey with its 500-point assessment? Why don’t other inspectors offer this service? And why is this such a big deal?
Anyone who has ever received bad news after a foundation evaluation will have a quick answer to this final question: Foundation repairs can be costly and invasive. Let a foundation problem fester too long, and you may be looking at catastrophic damage to a home and, in some cases, a property that is virtually unsellable. In short, a compromised foundation is not something to be trifled with.
A-Pro Free Foundation Level Survey, a $175.00 Value
By visual inspection alone, it is impossible for an inspector to provide the home buyer or seller with a completely accurate assessment of floor elevation. Severe sagging can be noted, but anything beyond that is guesswork. A foundation level survey accurately documents floor variations in every room of the home. This helps identify areas of immediate concern that may require further analysis. It also provides a recorded baseline to be compared against future foundation level surveys. When rechecked, homeowners can refer to the levels recorded in the inspection report to determine if the home is settling and at what rate.
A-Pro inspectors use a special digital meter that accurately documents floor elevation. Results are analyzed by the inspector and noted in an easy-to-understand table included in the home inspection report.
Why don’t other inspectors offer this free service? Frankly, we can’t think of a good reason why not.
I see there are certain home inspection services not included in a 500-point inspection. Can A-Pro handle other types of inspections I may need?
Yes. A-Pro inspectors offer a full list of additional services that go beyond the scope of a traditional home inspection. These include inspections for lead paint, mold, wood-destroying insects, carbon monoxide, radon, sewer scopes, swimming pools and spas, thermal imaging, HUD/FHA inspections, commercial structures, home energy audits, and others.
What do the certifications after an inspector’s name mean? Do they make a difference?
A great deal of difference. You wouldn’t hire a doctor without an MD or DO after his or her name. The same goes for the person you will be recommending to perform a checkup on the skin and bones of a house your client is thinking of purchasing.
The professional designations that proceed every A-Pro home inspector’s name (CHI, PHI, ASHI, ISHI, InterNACHI, CMI, and ITI) are more than a random collection of letters. They’re your clients’ guarantee that our inspectors meet the industry’s highest standards for training, experience, professionalism, ethics, and continuing education on the latest information for inspecting a building’s exterior and interior. Here’s what these essential acronyms stand for:
ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors)
ISHI (International Society of Home Inspectors)
CHI (Certified Home Inspector)
PHI (Professional Home Inspector)
InterNACHI (International Association of Home Inspectors)
CMI (Board Certified Master Inspector)
ITI (Certified Commercial Building Inspector)
A-Pro inspectors are fully insured. Plus, in states that require home inspector licensing, you’ll note that all A-Pro inspectors have a licensing number—another guarantee that your clients have chosen wisely.
What are some of the intangibles I should expect from my home inspector?
The team at A-Pro knows there’s much more to being a trusted home inspector than accurately measuring the length of a wall crack. You and your clients should expect your home inspector to…
Be friendly, courteous, and conscious of the fact that a home inspection can be stressful, especially for home sellers
Patiently and clearly answer questions about the results of the inspection, whether in person or remotely via Skype or Zoom
Arrive on time and perform the inspection thoroughly, safely, and efficiently
Demonstrate the utmost respect for the home and the homeowner, from the moment they enter until leaving with the home in the exact state as they found it
Be Covid-19 Certified, like all inspectors at A-Pro
Exhibit the highest level of honesty and integrity
A Final Thought: When your clients need home inspections this summer– or during any season – give your local team at A-Pro a call. Reach us in Birmingham at 205-538-2425 or schedule an inspection online at the link below.
*Check with your local inspectors on terms, and available services mentioned in this article.